By on April 7, 2020

Timing is everything, a famous person (possibly Gerald Ford) once said, and it would seem Tesla is in a position to capitalize on the returning consumer strength of the Chinese marketplace.

In a week that will be remembered by many Chinese as bringing about a return of free will and movement, such as that country can offer, Tesla plans to begin offering a domestically built Model 3 with considerable range.

As reported by Bloomberg, the Shanghai-built variant boasts more than 404 miles (650 km) of range per charge, company sources claim. That’s a marked upgrade from the roughly 280 miles offered by the base Chinese-market Model 3, and about 40 miles more driving radius than the Long Range version.

Pricing hasn’t been set for the longer-legged model, though Bloomberg’s sources point to a price just below the $50,000 mark. That’s a fairly short walk from the $45,800 entry-level model.

The range stated here isn’t translated into U.S. figures; still, the claimed 404 miles would still put this Chinese-market Model 3 well ahead of the loftiest version offered here. In the U.S., the Model 3 Long Range earns an EPA rating of 322 miles. Could the same range upgrade make its way to U.S. consumers once Fremont starts cranking out cars again? Stay tuned.

As for Chinese buyers, relative freedom has returned to the people of Wuhan — the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, barriers (both physical and legal) came down, allowing residents of the industrial heartland city to leave self-isolation — the city itself — after 76 days spent in lockdown. The same day, China reported no COVID-19 deaths in the country for the first time since the virus blew up in January.

Those are numbers provided by the country’s single-party state apparatus, so lend them whatever weight you think is warranted.

While the country’s economy and manufacturing base has been attempting to return to strength in recent weeks, the opening of Wuhan signals the start of a new chapter. As reported by The Hill, Wuhan’s deputy mayor claims 93 percent of the city of 11 million’s businesses have reopened. Millions of Chinese are hitting up national parks, with pictures posted to social media showing tourists jammed butt-to-gut in a mountain pass.

Outside observers, many of whom question the real extent of that country’s viral damage, claim China’s eagerness to reopen everything puts it at risk of a coronavirus flare-up — one that, as we’ve tragically seen, can turn into a wildfire all too easily.

As for Tesla, the automaker’s Shanghai plant was only offline for a few weeks as a result of the virus. As the company reportedly prepares to welcome a longer-ranged Long Range, “new energy vehicle” buyers in China will eventually have a locally built Model Y crossover to choose from. Just how many of them choose to do so depends on the country’s economic status and whether cautious declarations of a virus victory prove premature.

[Image: B.Zhou/Shuterstock]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

20 Comments on “As China’s Consumer Floodgates Open, a Local Tesla With Added Range Is There to Greet Them...”


  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Definitely questions about China’s decision to end the lockdown but whatever happens to the people won’t be Tesla’s fault. As for the range, I’d like to see that come to the States but I’m betting there are specific US legislations in play to prevent that with existing batteries.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Will the sales be viral?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Don’t get too excited. If that 404 miles is on the WLTP cycle, figure maybe 340 miles EPA.

    The US long-range car is rated for 322 miles, so this one might be identical to that.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    Just what we need – more coverage of the company that builds luxury golf carts that cost more than the size class they compete. It is not a remarkable thing to charge $50k for a car that is no bigger than a Ford Focus but costs twice as much. You can buy a lot of petrol for $25 to 30k!

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’ve driven both. The 3 is easily worth that premium. But you could make that comparison between any two cars, and the inevitable conclusion will be to buy a used Corolla or Civic.

      Oh, and many EV drivers don’t buy EVs just to save on gas.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @cprescott: Well, you may consider them “golf carts”, but if they are, they’re the fastest golf carts in the world, and can carry more than four people plus bags.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @vulpine: “they’re the fastest golf carts in the world”

        Actually, the Rimac Concept 2 is probably the fastest golfcart in the world. 1,900 hp and 0-60 in 1.85 seconds :^).

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          The Rimac Concept 2 isn’t a golf kart either… It is a battery electric vehicle designed for road use. Except in very limited locations, true Golf Karts are not legal for operation on municipal, county, state or Federal highways.

          You may not like BEVs but that doesn’t allow you to denigrate them with such insults when there are people who may believe your description within hearing.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @vulpine: I was being sarcastic about the Rimac being a golfcart. That’s why I put the smiley face. I was pointing out how ridiculous it was to call something with almost 2000 horsepower a golfcart. I have almost 100k miles on my 1st EV and getting ready to pick up a couple more to replace it. One might get modified for autocross.

            For the record, the golfcarts at my local golf course and the ones I use at one of my work locations are ICE powered. I take an EV to the golf course and pick up an ICE powered golfcart.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @mcs: Nice to know. The way some people talk nowadays, it’s hard to tell who’s throwing sarcasm and who’s throwing their genuine beliefs.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            They are very fast in a limited performance envelope. In a drag race they are great. Should your race go more than a few laps though…not so much. See formula 1 vs formula e

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @cprescott: “a car that is no bigger than a Ford Focus”

      That’s not true. A Model 3 is about a foot longer than a Focus. Larger interior space too. The slowest model 3 does 0-60 in 5.3 seconds. The fastest is 3.1. A Focus ST can’t even outrun a Chevy Bolt. The Model 3 Performance is faster 0-60 than an $80k 2020 Shelby 500. It’s about half a second faster 0-60 than a Hellcat Redeye. That’s a $74k car. They’re fast cars and that’s a major reason why people buy them.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    “The same day, China reported no COVID-19 deaths in the country for the first time since the virus blew up in January.”

    You did know that Baghdad Bob emigrated to China?

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    So China’s consumer market get to go back to normal after inflicting all of this on everybody? That would really be too bad. There needs to be an investigation before that happens.

    Imports are even worse. I’m afraid they’re going to have a huge competitive advantage, even more than now, because they don’t really care about the health and safety of their citizens and will lie about the data (example – the “facts” in this article). Whereas we are going to have all kinds of restrictions for a very long time.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      You might be underestimating the consumer backlash in Western countries.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      I truly hope so Jim C. But I think until we can figure out the cause of the Wuhan Red Death, what was done and what was covered up by the Chinese government, the truth about how many people are really dying there, and how safe the workers who are making our cheap trinkets are, I think there has to be some sort of a trade embargo on China.

      That sounds extreme I know. And I’m sure I’ll get flamed for it. But that’s what I think has to happen. Nothing seems too extreme now to me. To do otherwise would be cowardly.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • redapple: LIE: Laff of the day. Thank you. I appreciate humor based on something I would never think of.
  • 18726543: I do grid design work for a major electricity provider in the mid-Atlantic region. When work-from-home...
  • tobiasfunkemd: I recently bought a 2019 F-150 XLT, with a 2017 Tucson trade-in. After about a month of driving, I...
  • HotPotato: My Volt has been bank-vault solid — I credit the enormous T-shaped structural member down the center...
  • SV: “Your author has even grown fearful that the next batch of Volkswagens is really going to suck — despite...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber